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Campaign for America's Future Memorandum: Katrina Storm Warning
Date:8/30/2007

icies and perspectives have failed Americans. Instead of a coherent rebuilding process, we have witnessed:

-- CRONYISM: Rather than rely on trained experts, President Bush called on political loyalists to respond. Longtime political strategist Karl Rove was appointed to head the reconstruction. Bush-Cheney campaign manager Joe Allbaugh was Bush's first FEMA director and Michael Brown was selected to fill his spot, from the International Arabian Horse Association. Other senior FEMA officials included Patrick Rhode, Brooks Altshuler and Scott Morris who all worked for the Bush-Cheney campaign.

-- CORRUPTION: Gov. Haley Barbour, R-Miss., a former Washington lobbyist and RNC chairman and long-time Bush ally, was caught handing out one of the biggest Miss.-based federal contracts for recovery efforts to a Republican activist who is married to his nephew. In the aftermath of Katrina, the Department of Homeland Security awarded 3,400 contracts worth $5.3 billion, with no competitive bidding and no local preferences.

-- CYNICISM: With Louisiana's Democratic gubernatorial and senate seats endangered now, it may be no surprise that every decision was influenced by political consequences in Rove's eyes. Louisiana has been a swing state for some time and Democratic victories were based on the ability to mobilize the black community in New Orleans. One question is whether the administration ever intended to allow the poor that had been dispersed around the country to come back. The population of New Orleans has declined by more than 289,000 residents, according to Census figures, and 500,000 survivors are still scattered across the country with no plans to bring them home. Experts in the area estimate that the congressional advantage for Republicans will be 5 to 1 by 2012.

A FLOOD OF FAILURES

Seventeen days after Hurricane Katrina made landfall, President Bush stood in Jackson Square and pledged to "do what it takes" to help rebuild the Gulf Co
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SOURCE Campaign for America's Future
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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